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Top Locations for Filmmaking in North America

Carmel, CA - San Francisco, CA - New Mexico landscapes

Last month, Variety wrote an article listing the top places in the world that location managers, directors and other industry insiders voted as best locations for filmmaking. Reel-Scout is excited to share that our film office clients represent three of the Top 5 markets for filmmaking:  California (No. 1), New Mexico (No. 3), and Chicago (No. 4).

Some of the unique features that make California, New Mexico, and Chicago popular with the film and television production industries are:


  • Deepest talent pool on/off camera.
  • Largest, most technologically advanced production infrastructure and equipment globally.
  • Varied outdoor filming locations: snowy mountains, beaches, vineyards, forests, deserts, hilly cities (San Francisco), palmy urban areas (Los Angeles), and of course the one and only Hollywood.
  • 20-25% tax credits.

New Mexico

  • Unusual sceneries and locations from white desert sands to woodsy mountains.
  • 25% tax rebates.
  • Rapid and steady growth of local studios such as Albuquerque Studios, Rio Grande Studios, and a new studio complex soon to be launched in Santa Fe.
  • Large crew base.


  • Urban America: iconic downtown skyline, blend of traditional and modern architecture, Lake Michigan
  • 30% tax credit
  • Deep crew base
  • Outstanding post facilities and equipment-rental companies

A few more of our clients receive Honorable Mentions:  for “Best Incentives” — Michigan, Georgia, and North Carolina; for “Best Film-Office Support” — Connecticut and Utah; and for “Best Doubles for Locations” — Arizona.

Below is the complete list of “best places for filmmaking” according to industry pros:

Top 5 North American Locations

  1. California
  2. New York
  3. New Mexico
  4. Chicago
  5. Louisiana

Top 5 International Locations

  1. Morocco
  2. France
  3. Prague
  4. Spain
  5. United Kingdom

Honorable Mentions

  • Best Visual Appeal – Croatia, Hawaii, Panama
  • Best Incentives – Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina
  • Best Film-Office Support – Connecticut, Utah, Vancouver
  • Best Production Resources – Sydney, Montreal, Toronto
  • Best Doubles for Other Locations – Buenos Aires, Iceland, Arizona

Congratulations to all Reel-Scout clients who made this much-coveted list!

To read the entire article, please click here.



  1. Posted November 29, 2009 at 8:21 pm | Permalink has become a favorite sunday point for me

    • Posted February 3, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Michelle! We are thrilled you like Reel-Scout’s blog. Will try to our best to keep it updated with more interesting articles for your Sunday read. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Posted January 2, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    I was under the impression that Florida has a great film industry incentive program too. At least that is what others have been telling me. Otherwise great list of locations. Thanks for the share.

    Eliza, The Greenery Studio

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